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Circulating exovesicles as markers of early diagnosis of CHAGas disease (PRECHAG).

21st national competition for scientific and technical research

Infection: early warning, prevention and treatment

Senior Researcher : Luis Miguel Pablos Torró

Research Centre or Institution : Universidad de Granada


The proposed project aims to study the possible role of the Trypanosoma cruzi microparticulate secretome, made up of Exovesicles (EVs) from the parasite and from infected host cells in the early diagnosis of Chagas disease. This disease, with 8 to 10 million people infected, is endemic to the American continent and is expanding due to migratory movements to countries like Spain. For the diagnosis and evaluation of in neonates as well as the chronic phase of the disease characterized by low parasitemia, early detection of the parasite or its secretion products is necessary. In this project, and based on previous studies, we intend to study the potential of parasite-specific Exovesicles (EVs) and their immunocomplexes (EVs-ICs) for the immunological and molecular diagnosis of Chagas disease. 

To do so, the purification methodology of EVs and/or EVs-ICs from plasma, saliva and urine will be optimized to evaluate their potential use as biomarkers. The presence of antigenic proteins and DNA in EVs is of special interest due to their greater exposure, which will help to determine the presence/absence of the parasite in phases of the disease with low parasitemia, in neonates potentially infected by transplacental transmission or in follow-up after drug treatment of patients. The project has a team with experience in purification of EVs, immunological and molecular diagnosis, as well as specialists dedicated to clinical research on Chagas disease that ensure the viability of the project.

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